Along with recital season comes graduation for many dancers and volunteers. This year, with our growing team, we are celebrating the achievements of many!
At the heart of The Dance Ability Movement are our volunteers. Every dancer in our program is welcomed and supported by a dance buddy; a role model, mentor, and friend. We witness the development of incredible relationships; between dancers of all abilities, between families and today’s youth, and between teachers and their students.
Through our program, our volunteers are introduced to an incredible part of their community. They learn from dancers of all abilities; how to dance with those who may not walk, how to communicate with those who may not “talk”. These young dance buddies learn the true value of inclusion and belonging. In a world that strives to be “accessible” for all; our volunteers are living the experiences that shape their perspectives on what being included means, how important it is, and how simple it can be.
We have over 100 volunteers who have joined our team. Many of them moving on to other stages; University, College, etc. and many of them returning year after year to be involved with recitals, and special events whenever they can.
This year, we are thrilled to announce the creation of a Volunteer Achievement Award.
This award is presented to a Volunteer who…
- is graduating high school
- has volunteered their time throughout their high school education to contribute to The Dance Ability Movement and has achieved an outstanding number of at least 300 hours
- has been an exemplary volunteer demonstrating commitment to the program
- has been a role model for other volunteers
- has shared their passion for dance with others
- lives the values of The Dance Ability Movement in their every day lives
- is pursuing further education in a related field of health or the arts
The award is given by the Directors (us!) with the support of nominations from our dance families, dancers, other volunteers, teachers, and our OTs. The award includes a $100 Scholarship from The Dance Ability Movement, towards post-secondary education.
This year, we present this award to our first recipient, Miss Samantha Dempsey.
Samantha started volunteering with us in our very first class in 2010. She has volunteered for every Dance Ability class at Dance Elite since, committing over 500 hours. She has inspired the love of dance in all of her dance buddies and developed incredible relationships with dancers, families, and other volunteers.
Samantha has a passion for the arts and will be studying Musical Theatre at St. Clair College in the fall. Not only is she an incredibly talented dancer, singer, and actress, Samantha has completely astounded us in her “therapeutic qualities”; her ability to connect and engage with EVERY dancer. She truly sees the abilities in others, believing that everyone can dance, AND she possesses the special gift of bringing this out in all of her buddies. Samantha is a quiet leader on our team. She has a constant mature and respectful demeanor. We have received an incredible amount of positive feedback from families about Samantha since day one. She may never realize the impact that she has already had on this world; and we know she will go forth and continue to live the values of The Dance Ability Movement in whatever she does! We wish her the best of luck as she moves away to school next year, and know that the bonds of dance we share are everlasting!
Photos at Dance Elite 2016 Recital; presenting Sam with her award!